Monday, April 27, 2009

Times are Changing.

Bishop Quinine has booked himself out of rehab and come home to us early: it seems that as the tremors subsided he had a vision of starting his own program for attractive young men and women in need of some sort of help, and consequently pronounced himself cured.

He’s calling it “The Fourteen Steps” which doesn’t sound very original to me: 1-12 are the standard sort of thing, although step 13 is awfully Mark Driscoll, and why number 14 requires an armadillo costume and a large bowl of cheese sauce is beyond me. Still, he’s trying something new to attract people into the Church, and that’s more than can be said for many of my conservative brethren.

While I realise jetting around the world to attend conferences on the evils of same-sex marriage can be tremendous fun, the reality is I’ve never met anyone who says they came to Christ as a result of some late middle-aged man in a purple shirt racking up frequent–flyer points in an obsessive crusade against people being the way God made them. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good back-slapping session with my cronies as much as the next GAFCON leader, but the reality is ministry can’t be all fun and games. Sometimes we all ought to just get on with the business of growing our churches, because if we don’t there’ll be no future generation to keep paying for the kind of rectories and hotels to which we are entitled.

It’s all very well for the ├╝ber-Tractarians at Forward in Faith to reminisce about the 19th century, when fiddling with children was only technically illegal, and nobody ever asked questions, or for a nasty evangelical to fantasize that the early 1960’s were a time of a glorious reawakening in the wake of Billy Graham’s 1959 crusade, when the reality was entrenched corruption as police and politicians amassed fortunes in bribes from organized crime and backyard abortionists, but times have changed. I also find myself longing for the days when children could be sold to work as pit-ponies and chimney sweeps, and parents routinely experienced the joy of watching their children die in waves from all-but-forgotten diseases like diphtheria and polio, but those days are gone forever (unless Jim Carrey is allowed to have his way).

Our is an age when thanks to the miracle of broadband Christians can gaze upon Paris Hilton’s pudenda from the comfort of their own La-Z-Boy; it’s no longer enough to wave a bit of man-lace or Calvin on a Sunday morning and expect the sheep to come flocking in. We need to find ways of meeting people which don’t discard our history, but which also don’t require people to pretend they’ve entered a time machine.

Here at St. Onuphrius’ we’re unapologetically conservative, so our core evangelism strategies of liturgical pole-dancing and unlimited free alcohol for everyone under the age of 21 probably aren’t going to work in more progressive congregations, but I mention them as inspiration for your own prayerful explorations into ways of reaching out to people not currently part of our great and glorious communion. Let’s face it, simply telling people you hate queers isn’t working like it used to.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

5 comments :

Alan Rogers said...

How timely. Please read my saga of Jerome LeSeuer. Thanks!

Cany said...

What's with all the references to sheep today?

Being one, I think all you collar types need to recuse yourselves from sheep analogies of all kinds in the future.

In particular, being a majority of one, as I am, with no association whatsoever with other sheep belonging to either the wrong sheep party or the wrong sheep church, it falls on me to remind you that sheep ain't sheep.

It would behoove you, and all other GAFCON types, to remember that.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

C'mon - there's no pleasing some of you people. I make gratuitous references to pedophilia, child labor and exploitation, back-yard abortionists, and Mark Driscoll all in one post and the only complaint I get concerns a throw-away line about sheep???!!!
MadPriest gets little Fred Preuss and AT, and David Virtue gets himself, and the only criticism I get is this????

Cany said...

yep. that's all ya get.

except for this:

given our coats are black, we are not dyed easily.

MadPriest said...

I completely agree with you, Father. That is is why I was so impressed with that young, American, beauty queen nymphet's recent attempt to merge pole dancing with telling everyone to hate queers. This inspired bringing together of the old and the new is a brilliant example of how we should all be doing mission in this post-modern world we find ourselves in.

But a true prophet is never respected. As usual, those bleeding heart liberals failed to see the economic blessings that would bestowed upon us if we heeded her words. In stead, they just kept barking on about justice and stuff. As if Jesus ever had time for justice. He was to busy building up the family business for such nonsense.